Designing for Multispecies Commons: Ecologies and Collaborations in Participatory Design

Participatory design has traditionally foregrounded humans as agents and stakeholders in design processes. While the notion of ‘design ecologies’ have gained prominence as an understanding of the particular entanglements, processes of design are part of, the role of nature and other species remains an under investigated area. In the light of increasing states of planetary crisis, and its ubiquitous effects on design and planning we ask how designers may take more-than human rights into consideration and connect with more than human interests and agencies for participation.

In doing this, we foreground questions on how other species may emerge as co-creators of experiences and knowledge and collaborators in making livable environments. Drawing on two cases of spatial design (Amager commons, Copenhagen, Denmark and river Viskan, Borås, Sweden) we explore how we may rethink urban commons and their use as cases that call for attention to multispecies collaboration and design.

by Thomas Laurien, co-written with Michael Haldrup and Kristine Samson 
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